Black Lives Matter members and other supporters gathered together and walked down State Street in a peaceful protest of the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald at the hands of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. McDonald was killed a year ago, in October 2014, but the dashcam video of McDonald being shot 16 times was just released. Van Dyke had been on desk duty until his arrest on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, for first-degree murder.
Three protesters were arrested and it made the group surround the front of the police station at 17th and State. The police blocked the entrance of the station on foot, with their bikes and police cars. A couple of officers were spotted on the roof of the 1st District police station as well and one held a video camera recording the whole protest.
Activist Rachelle vented her frustration about the injustices that continue to plague the Black community, while other protesters exhorted the crowd to remain peaceful, despite their justifiable anger. Activist Damon Williams asked everyone to give at least three people hugs and stated how we must love one other as we love ourselves. The protesters marched through downtown Chicago, around Michigan and Roosevelt, and eventually made it to the expressway with a trail of cops following them and helicopters flying over the scene. The protesters returned to the 1st District police station to check on the welfare of the protesters who had been arrested earlier in the evening.
Eventually, after hours of marching, some protesters began vandalizing cars, which resulted in the cops launching tear gas canisters into the crowd. One individual reportedly attacked a police officer as well. No injuries were reported by the police or protesters.
More protests and demonstrations are expected to occur because of the community’s concern and anger that the video of McDonald’s killing took too long to be released. They also believe it took too long for Van Dyke to be prosecuted.
Photos by Melanie L. Brown for Steed Media Service